Half of Canadian youth aged 16 to 20 have been sent a sext (a nude, partly nude or sexy photo) that they didn’t ask for. Whether you call them sexts, nudes, naked selfies or just pics, if you receive an intimate image like this, it’s your job to make the right choice about the sender’s privacy. There is no excuse to forward a sext that someone sent you.
As a parent, you may find some relief in learning that fewer youth take and send sexts (nude or semi-nude photos) than you may think. However, almost half of youth who have taken and sent a sext say that the recipient then forwarded that image to other people without their consent. This culture of sharing among youth is a major concern and can have devastating consequences for the person in the picture and the person who forwards it.
In this lesson, students learn about the “sneaky excuses” that can convince us to do things that we know are wrong. After learning about the different types of these excuses, students watch and discuss a series of videos in which the excuses are used to justify forwarding sexts without the original sender’s consent. Finally, students create their own videos in which the excuses used to justify sharing sexts with other people are illustrated and most importantly, countered.
Few issues capture our anxiety about young people and digital media so perfectly as sexting. As with technologies at least as far back as the telegraph, much of this anxiety has focused specifically on girls and women.
How common young people think sexting is has been identified as one of the strongest factors influencing whether they send sexts.
Moral disengagement is used to describe the ways in which we convince ourselves to do something that we know is wrong, or to not do something we know is right. MediaSmarts’ research looked at the impact of four moral disengagement mechanisms:
- You can start by asking the person who shared it to take it down or stop sharing it. Kids report that this works more often than not!
- Ask the service or platform where it was shared to take it down.
A Guide for Trusted Adults is based on YWCA's consultation with Canadian girls and young women about their concerns and the issues they face online and on social media platforms and the ways they want the adults in their lives to support them.
On the Loose: A Guide to Online Life for Post-Secondary Students supports young adults who are experiencing both new freedoms and challenges in their post- secondary life.
In this lesson, students use mind maps to explore concepts of “respect” and “consent” in an online context. They consider a wide range of scenarios that shed light on different aspects of consent relating to digital media and draw on those to create a detailed definition. Finally, students create an “explainer” video in which they illustrate one of the aspects of consent.